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1746Re: [hreg] Re: BP Solar did you read & ethanol

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  • Robert Bruce Warburton
    Dec 3, 2002
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      That is the problem with ethanol and hydrogen. It takes more energy to produce the ethanol than the ethanol produces, which is also the case for hydrogen. However, biodiesel made from used vegetable oil could supplement a significant percentage of diesel fuel use. Since used vegetable oil has been a waste product and not a beginning product, land would not be devoted to biodiesel production like ethanol would. Farmers want ethanol, but if there is no net energy gain then it would increase energy consumption. I am reading a book called Energy and Social Change. It was written by James O'Toole and the University of Southern California Center for Futures Research. They discuss how we are actually consuming more energy in producing the foods we consume than we get from those foods. I would like to know are there certain crops meant for direct human nutrition consumption that don't require more energy to produce than they provide us?

      "Kevin L. Conlin" wrote:

      The main problem with BP's thin film technology is that it, like all other thin film technologies, has not lived up to it's main promise of lower costs.  Very few thin film manufacturers are profitable, and BP is simply trying to cut it's losses.  The current PV market is being driven by large grid tied markets, especially in California, and the thin film products do not fit this scheme due to their larger size, and hence, higher installation costs per watt.
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Monday, December 02, 2002 10:02 PM
      Subject: [hreg] Re: BP Solar did you read & ethanol
       Dear HREG, What is wrong with BP's thin film technology?  I thought it was less cost per watt. Does another company, like Unisolar, already have the upper hand on thin film solar cells? Another question... if ethanol becomes a popular fuel, what percentage of our farmable land should we contribute to fuels.  Here are some facts (I think they are facts) to ponder:  There are about 500 million acres of farm land in the US (not including livestock rangeland).  An acre of land can grow about 100 bushes of corn per year.  A bushel of corn can produce about 2.5 gallons of ethanol.  A gallon of ethanol has a little more than half the energy content as a gallon of gasoline.  The US consumes about 200 trillion (2x10^11) gallons of petroleum per year for transportation.  This means to completely convert to ethanol would require more than 2x10^11 /2.5 /100 /0.6 = 1.3 billion acres of land dedicated to growing corn.  What if we scale back and add 5% ethanol to the gasoline pool as an oxygenate (replace MTBE)?  Then, that would require 133 million acres of land.  Is that reasonable?  What do you think?  What would you tell your congressman? Please reply,Chris 
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Thursday, November 28, 2002 4:34 PM
      Subject: [hreg] Re: BP Solar did you read
       Did you read in the Houston Chronicle on the 26th that BP Solar will cut as many as 260 jobs in the U.S. in an effort to keep its solar panel sales growing at an annual rate of 30%. They will no longer make thin film solar cells. They will now concentrate on crystalline silicon cells, which already account for 85% of its solar cell production.

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